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Body Cooling Cuts Cardiac Arrest Death Rates by 12 Percent

Body Cooling Cuts Cardiac Arrest Death Rates by 12 Percent

(ePharmaNews) – Cardiac arrest, which knockouts 70% of those affected, can be "cooled down" by therapeutic hypothermia, as a new study from Mayo clinic revealed that treating in-hospital cases of cardiac arrest by hypothermia prevented death in around 12 percent of the million cases studied during the research period which extended for 10 years.

Cardiac arrest is responsible for 300 thousands deaths in U.S.A annually, and 15% of total deaths around the world; it is considered an emergent case during which heart stops pumping the blood; the main supplier of nutrients and oxygen, to vital organs which may lead to permanent brain damage or death, unless treated within the first five minutes.

The goal of therapeutic cooling is slowing the body's metabolism and preventing brain damage or death. It is believed that mild therapeutic hypothermia suppresses harmful chemical reactions in the brain and preserves cells. Two key studies published in 2002 found therapeutic hypothermia more effective for sudden cardiac arrest patients than traditional therapies.

Mayo researchers analyzed a database covering more than 1 million patients and found, as will be presented at the upcoming American Academy of Neurology 2012 Annual Meeting in New Orleans., that mortality rates among in-hospital sudden cardiac arrest patients dropped from 69.6 percent in 2001 — the year before the studies appeared — to 57.8 percent in 2009, the most recent data available.

"Because we reviewed such a large number of cases, we are confident that the reduction in mortality among in-hospital sudden cardiac arrest patients is significant and sustained," says co-author Alejandro Rabinstein, M.D., a Mayo Clinic neurologist. "We continue to seek answers to the questions: Why did this trend develop, and how can we accelerate it," says co-author Jennifer Fugate, D.O.

It is worth mentioning that cardiac arrest should not be confused with heart attack, as the latter is caused by blockage of one of the heart's arteries, and that cardiac arrest should be managed by immediate CPR which may restore part of the circulation and save whatever possible of brain cells.

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Prepared by: Mohammed Kanjo

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